They don't seem to be too desperate to have Bell back, as James Conner continued to produce in the star's place as their starting running back, The 23-year-old ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns in what could be his last game as the team's starter, assuming Bell takes that spot back over in his return. The Bengals' tailback nearly gave them the win, as Joe Mixon scored from four yards out with 1:18 to play, as it looked to be more late-game heroics for the Bengals.
That is when Big Ben took over yet again, as he improved to 14-2 in his career at Paul Brown Stadium, while the Bengals continued to struggled against the Mike Tomlin-led Steelers. Cincinnati dropped to 2-16 against the Steelers in Tomlin's 16 years with Pittsburgh, including two playoff losses. The Bengals' QB Andy Dalton had a nice day, with Tyler Boyd being his favorite target, as those two connected for touchdowns of two and 14 yards. Dalton himself dropped to 3-12 in his career against the Steelers, despite moving past Boomer Esiason for second on the Bengals' all-time passing yards list, as he finished with 229 yards in the loss.
The Steelers were able to shut down a previously red-hot offense, and now they may have a legitimate competition at running back once Bell returns. Conner has seven rushing touchdowns in six games this season, joining Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis as the only Steelers to achieve that feat.
After the bye week, Pittsburgh will most likely welcome Bell back when they play host to the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals take their 4-2 record to a Sunday night showdown with the now one-loss Kansas City Chiefs.